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Dec. 21st, 2010

Lost and Found

Guess who finally found her Live Journal login info again! Yeah, not been here much. In the process of deciding whether to shut this down--or open 'er back up for business.

Mar. 30th, 2009

Have you seen my blue ribbon?

Reading: "Jacquard's Web: How the hand loom led to the birth of the information age" by James Essinger.

Doing: Recovering from the final weekend of the Arizona Renaissance Festival

Needing: water, aspirin, and several gallons of skin cream.

Wanting: more belly dance lessons, more music, less sun.

The final weekend of the Arizona Renaissance Festival wrapped up last night with a rather sedate after-party. Patrons weren't spending as much and the gate may have been a bit lower than in recent seasons but the crowds were fun and rennies will find a way to enjoy themselves no matter the circumstances. Hail, dust storms, the occasional rattlesnake on the way to the porta-potty, it's all par for the course.

Mar. 6th, 2009

Who Am I?

In an otherwise very enjoyable episode of Space: Above and Beyond, there is a very cheesy scene in which T.C. McQueen turns and writes "Who Am I?" upon a black and white printout of an alien fighter craft.
It's a moronic question and an example of really poor writing, a trite shortcut playing upon popular speech to avoid having to answer what the character is really asking of himself and the situation.
Just look at the dictionary definition of "who":
1. what or which person
2. the person or persons that
and my favorite
3. used to introduce a relative clause and to serve as a substitute therein for the substantive modified by the clause. Wheeee!
Who is T.C. Mcqueen? He's a pilot, an artifically gestated human, a marine, a loner, a man who has stopped allowing himself personal connections and someone fearful of allowing himself to be redefined. Dig into the seemingly profound inquiry of "who" and you find the rich complexity of the inevitable "what".
No one is ever really a "who", we're "what's". What we are doing, what we are thinking, what we want from and do in our lives and what parts we play in the lives of others.

So what am I?
I'm a daughter, a sister, an ex-wife, a niece and aunt, an ex-lover, a friend and an aquaintance. I'm an artist. I'm a bisexual, an athiest and a sometime intellectual. I'm a juggler, an environmentalist, a cat-owner and someone who knits badly. I'd argue I was never the person pictured up there in the photo you see, but my friends argue I must be to have been, and I'll accept that they may be right in part. Who I am is self-evident. I'm me. The person who remains when everyone else goes away. Problem solved. What I am, what I was, what I will be? Oy. Those are so much tougher.

Dec. 28th, 2008

At Least I'd Be Warm

While I recognize the value of smoke alarms, and appreciate that my life expectancy is greater and my insurance rates are lower for having them installed, there are nights I think I'd rather run the risk of burning to death in my bed.

What sadist designed these things? Yes, the piercing tones are meant to drive you insane so you wake out of even a drugged or drunken stupor, but that same tone makes it impossible to think when trying to assess why the bloody things are going off when there isn't any fire. Especially at 5 a.m. Especially with two howling cats wanting reassurance that they won't be eaten by the nasty beast on the ceiling.

Worse, I figured out why the one went off, fixed the problem, and tested--much to my cats' dismay--all the units. Whereupon I realized there was one remaining blinking light. Hellfire. Imagine a tired woman with frazzled hair in a poorly belted robe, holding down cats while counting off the seconds between blinks after having been woken from a dead sleep. Now imagine her tripping over said cats while hauling a ladder upstairs and replacing the battery three times before realizing that this unit is oh-so-slightly-different than the others. Yep, compatible but not identical, and on this one, the red light does indeed blink just to say hello periodically. Hello!

Somewhere on the carpet is a broken latch piece, part of a torn fingernail, and the last shreds of my patience.
If you can find them, you're welcome to them. I'm going back to bed.

Dec. 26th, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a Wet Christmas

Other suggested southwestern carols:

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Prong Horn
Jingle Shells
Frosty the Saguaro-Man

I happily spent December 25th, 2008 not celebrating Christmas. I slept in as long as the cats allowed, made a thoroughly average breakfast of french toast, watched a documentary on genetically modified crops, a discovery project show on research into increasing plankton blooms as a method of combatting global warming, and then crawled back into bed with a migraine. However, I can't say I didn't celebrate christmas at all this year. Earlier in the month I treated myself to a trip to visit my parents, bought myself a couple cool fossil pieces, gave and received a few christmas cards at work and picked up a few stray pine branches to stick in a vase at home. But the actual day of Christmas lacked all holiday-ness, purposefully and satisfyingly.

Oct. 10th, 2008

The Disinformation Age

A good friend told me today that I shouldn't trust the journal articles I read as they are full of lies and don't include the real truth of what scientists are doing to "...kill our mother earth.". Instead I should trust her internet sites in which allegations are not backed by any numbers, statistical studies, sited publication or scientific explanations.

The topic of conversation that led to this declaration on her part was that of GMO's, specifically the genetic modification of human food stuffs.

I would have liked to discuss genetic modification in scientific terms, but she refuses to listen to anything that might place any positive value on genetic modifications of any sort. Nor will she consider taking the time to learn the basic scientific concepts needed to have such a discussion.

When I ask her for reference materials in the form of published articles, patents, or such for the claims she makes of scorpion venom in sweet corn or fish genes in tomatos, she explains away the lack thereof by saying scientists aren't publishing what they are really doing to our foods for fear of public outcry.

I'd like to discuss with her the question of specific vs. non-specific pesticides and herbicides, the global economic and environmental impact of varying agricultural practices, the issue of synthetic gene production and a wealth of exciting related topics. Sadly, those conversations aren't going to happen. She's too busy ranting on the evils of glow-in-the-dark chinese pigs. A pity really, because I'd love to fill her in on the amazing work done in using bioluminescence as a genetic marker and the remarkable amount of knowledge we're gaining from it's application.

But what's the use of talking if no one listens?

Jul. 30th, 2008

Welcome to America

After fourteen years residency in Arizona, I now feel I can legitimately call myself a native daughter of the state. Early this morning, while I was preparing to top off the gas in my rental car, I was hit by an un-licensed and un-insured Mexican national. Buen venidos!

Thankfully no one was hurt. I was standing by the pump and the van's driver had walked away from his vehicle, leaving it in gear such that it rolled back into my car. A foot further back and it would have rolled freely across the lot, plowed thru some straggly oleanders and crunched to a stop in the gravel. A foot further back and I'd have driven away feeling little more than relief that I wasn't involved and a mild sorrow on behalf of the already struggling oleander.

Life, however, unfolded differently today. All our cumulative decisions, a million choices that continue to be made; ripples spreading beyond our control or comprehension.

Cosmically, it's a drop in the bucket. A single drop. A drip.
A "tang..tang..ting..tang..tang...tang..ting". Annoying, but far from unendurable.

Jul. 23rd, 2008

Mending Day

Today's a day for mending. I've got a backlog of clothes with popped buttons, torn seams and hems too long for any but my highest heeled boots. Time and past time to get all this stuff done. Fixing these things will allow me to make use of all the options in my closet.

Today's a day for mending my life as well.

Torn clothes haven't been the only thing I've avoided. Excusing my actions as maturity instead of cowardice, I've gone out of my way to be out of the way of my ex-husband, who I'm sharing the house with until we can get it sold, and his girlfriend. Months ago, wanting to glue him into my psyche as "roommate", I gave him the same freedom any past roommate of mine would have--that of having their friends and significant others over. I was correct in judging that seeing them together in our house, although initially painful, would cement in my brain the surety that I harbored no desire to get back together with him. Unfortunately, I was over solicitous in the process and made myself a prisoner in my own bedroom anytime she was over.

Not surprisingly, the more scarce I made myself, the more comfortable they felt taking command of the house. I can't entirely blame them, but I can blame myself for not remembering that roommates have obligations as well as rights. And today I take back my time, possessions, space and rights.

The trash is taken out, my first load of laundry is started, my mending is sorted and piled ready for needle and thread to whip it into shape. Time to get things done.

Jul. 4th, 2008

Your Poetic License Has Been Revoked

Cacti I Have Known

The saguaro stands upright and tall
Home to creatures great and small
But should you bend and meet its young
Mind the kids, and bite your tongue.

The hedgehog cactus how sweet, devine.
Fuschia flowers bloom midst the spines.
But should a heel or toe intrude,
Oh woe is me, the cry is rude!

Famed as hedge and feed for cow
It tricked the farmers, oh and how.
For prickly still was the prickly pear
And still some spines did linger there.

Prickly, stickly, trickly beast,
Upon my flesh it wished to feast.
The teddybear cholla is poorly named;
I tried to hug it and now am maimed!

wsh 7/2008
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Jul. 1st, 2008

Doing: Thrift Store Deconstruction

I had several projects I intended to work on tonight, but after a moment of moderate 'grrrr' involving my roommate (he's also my ex-husband, how's that for 'grrrr'?), I decided to start work on the following:

A couple days ago, as is my habit, I skimmed the aisles of our local thrift store. (Hey, if you don't look, you can't find, right?) Scored better than usual with a wood jewelry box made in Japan, though by styling it could as easily be middle-eastern. I don't need another jewelry box, especially one with musty mustard-yellow lining and too few drawer dividers, but I really liked the box itself. I'm a bit of a box addict, though I usually manage to resist. I'm envisioning this one eventually holding a collection of natural oddities, misc. keys, or maybe writing materials. Frankly, if I ever get around to accumulating my much desired collection of small mammal skulls, this would be an ideal storage/display box.

To reach that point, I started by grabbing the pliers and ripping out the dividers and ring holders. Quite a bit of the lining came out with them, but the cardboard and adhesive the pseudo-velvet was attached to stuck firm. I've been alternately soaking and scraping to remove those and get to the bare wood. I'd hoped to find my flat razor blade holder to make the job easier, but no such luck. As serendipity often has it, however, my search did turn up the hiding place of my good scissors. I'd hidden them months prior to keep them from the hands of my cluelessly-using-good-scissors-to-cut-wire roommate.

Once I've gotten to bare wood, I'll lightly sand the outside, do some distressed paint treatments, sand again, and probably cover it all with a dark stain for a nice aged 'fresh from the temple' look. I haven't decided yet whether to leave the interior of the drawers plain, decoupage them with an exotic paper or gild them. Right now I'm leaning towards gilding as I love the mental image of lowly organic natural specimens against that luxurious, high-end surface.

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